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Vilja Reads

I'm a student, so I don't have nearly as much time for leisure reading as I'd like. If I manage to read an entire course book instead of just the assigned chapters, I'll review that here, too.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister - Gregory Maguire This is not a proper review, but these thoughts need to be expressed. Maguire's depictions of disability are problematic.


In Wicked, he presents Nessarose as helpless and off-balance due to a disability that doesn't make one either of those things (and she's a bitch, too). Here he shows an unusually built young woman faking disability*, not to mention depicted as somehow monstrous due to this apparent disability (and she's an arsonist, too). There's a clear theme of the disabled as frightening "God's mistakes" that seems to go far beyond building an image of how people reacted to disabilities in 17th century Holland or even what Maguire is trying to tell us about exceptional appearances. So he's using disabled characters to "tell us" (abled people) "something about ourselves" and then seems to redeem one character by showing she wasn't disabled after all.

I like your writing otherwise, Maguire, and you may have had good intentions, but that's a pretty big pile of fail.

*Why is this problematic? Eead these, for starters: http://disabledfeminists.com/2009/11/03/policing-disability/ and http://trouble.dreamwidth.org/535265.html - many disabled people are already saddled with being called fakers and media tends to reinforce this enough already through the many, many fictional stories about disabled people who weren't really.